The new Volkswagen Passat GTE has won the Next Green Car Award, prior to its roll-out at dealerships in the U.K. The Passat GTE is first Passat with a state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid drive system, offering a spirited performance alongside the possibility of zero emissions when driving in all-electric mode.
Available in sedan (saloon) or estate body styles, the most environmentally responsible Passat to date emits just 39g of CO2 on the EU Combined Cycle, equating to fuel economy of 1.7l/100km (166 mpg). Yet with 400 Nm of torque and combined system power of 218 PS, the new Passat GTE can sprint from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.6 seconds before heading to a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). The potential range between refuelling stops is more than 1,062 km (660 miles). On electric power (E mode) alone, the Passat does 50 km (31 miles) thanks to a 1.4-liter TSI turbocharged petrol engine (156 PS) and a electric motor (additional 115 PS). Torque on electric power is 330 Nm.
The car’s lithium-ion battery is fitted in the floor area of the rear seat bench. Comprising eight modules of 12 cells each, it creates a nominal voltage of 360 V and power of 9.9 kWh, with a peak output of 85 kW. The high-voltage battery is overseen electronically by the Battery Management Controller, which manages various functions including the battery’s liquid cooling system. Charging is achieved either via a standard domestic mains outlet in around four hours and 15 minutes; or in two hours 30 minutes from a dedicated wallbox with a 3.6 kW supply.
A specially developed six-speed DSG gearbox is standard on the Passat GTE and features a third, disengagement clutch. This decouples the TSI motor whenever possible, to allow the vehicle to make best use of kinetic energy and hence increases efficiency still further.
Building on the already elegant lines of the new Passat (European Car of the Year 2015), the Passat GTE is distinguished on the exterior by distinctive C-shaped LED DRLs and an additional blue line across the radiator grille, along with a redesigned front bumper and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, in addition to the optional innovative Active Info Display with specific customized read-outs, standard features include blue ambient lighting, a leather-trimmed multifunction steering with blue decorative stitching, GTE-specific gear knob with blue stitching and seats covered in Alcantara with Vienna leather side bolsters. Unique GTE badging also marks out the new Passat.
Bristling with innovative and engaging new technology, the new Passat GTE boasts Volkswagen’s new Car-Net e-Remote app which allows a wide variety of tasks, including charging, to be controlled via smartphone. All climate control functions can be also activated remotely, while information on the vehicle’s state of charge, recent driving data or last parking position can be displayed. It is also possible to check whether the doors are closed and the lights turned off.
The Passat GTE comes in two highly specified trim levels: Standard and Advance. The standard Passat GTE features Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking, Discover Navigation, Bluetooth and parking sensors), LED headlights and tail lights, Mode 2&3 charging cables and Car-Net e-Remote. On the Passat GTE Advance version, the car comes with Active Info Display, Discover Pro navigation (eight-inch screen), Nappa leather, Area View and LED premium headlights.
Despite its extra technology and revised styling, dimensions of the Passat GTE match those of the standard Passat, including boot volume (402-968 liters for the sedan and 483-1613 liters for the estate).
The new Volkswagen Passat GTE is available at a starting price of 36,525 pounds.